In 2016, the Republican Party turned down a road that many did not see coming, and came to embody something far from its highest potential.
It is important to understand what led the GOP to the problems it faces today. That includes talk radio, politicians who promise more than they can deliver, ineffective messaging, and not investing in cities.
All of these deserve serious consideration and thoughtful solutions. The former two have been discussed more thoroughly elsewhere. The latter two I believe to be part of one bigger problem to which the Institute for Justice provides instructive solutions.
For years, the Institute for Justice has proven itself to be a model for those who want to effectively defend freedom and the limits on constitutional government. The GOP purports to strive for the same.
IJ is best-known for its litigation, but the organization is also exceptional at storytelling. It can be hard to keep a dry eye when reading stories on their website about government exceeding its constitutional power, in turn, hurting the little guy, and how IJ is helping the little guy fight for his liberty.
The organization's fights are based in their belief in judicial engagement. That understanding of the Constitution is a necessary foundation for much of their litigation. Such an understanding and an embrace of liberty would move the Republican Party in the right direction, towards liberty and away from authoritarianism.
IJ also does quite a bit of work in cities—places often ignored by the Republican Party for what I will argue are reasons based on false premises. Many Republicans stand by old refrains they've been told by others, such as "there aren't Republicans in cities," "conservative solutions can’t work in cities," or "cities aren’t part of real America." These are false assumptions, but they've too often become unquestioned truths. The GOP can make electoral gains in cities by showing up, showing they care, and showing they have solutions. In doing so, the Republican Party would benefit from implementing IJ-style storytelling and focus on freedom.
On Thursday, November 10th, I will discuss all of this at length at the 2016 Professional Women in Advocacy Conference.